At the heart of the glorious meadows, streams and valleys of the South Downs National Park, lie Barrow Hill Barns. Eight imaginative barn-style cottages of brick, flint and red tiles.
For over a century, the Luff family have run an arable and beef farm on this spot, named after the nearby Bronze Age burial mound. Though recently, on the site of former farm buildings, 10 acres have been given over to the super-luxurious cottages which have been given 5* status by Visit England.
As part of the Premier Cottage collection, which offers 4* and 5* accommodation across the UK, guests deal directly with the owner. Premier Cottages is not an agency. Consequently, there is not a booking fee and no hidden extras. Hire charges are all inclusive.
Our cottage is Pump Meadow, named after one of the farm’s fields, as are all of the cottages. Early morning, through the lounge’s bifold doors, there are views across the South Downs towards the rising sun.
Every cottage has a patio that is discretely angled away from its neighbours. Guests relax on the patio furniture with a BBQ to hand.
This is walking country, doggie heaven. Step out of your cottage into the UK’s newest national park. Every cottage has a folder featuring a variety of walks, beginning with a 1.5 mile leg-stretcher through to a 13 mile trek to Hawkley Inn. Inevitably, dogs get rather muddy, so Barrow Hill Barns has a warm-dog wash located next to reception.
Water-colour art work brings the country theme into each cottage, with paintings of birds, country landscapes and a busy yesteryear market scene at nearby Petersfield. A William Morris blue willow lampshade on a standard lamp and silver sculptures of rabbits build on the rural sense of place.
Although the cottages have a light contemporary feel, with heating beneath the tiles, the darker wood of antique furniture brings country heritage character.
Pump Meadow has three exceptionally spacious bedrooms. All have super-king-size Hypnos beds that can be configured as singles on request. Every room is en-suite with the bathrooms featuring large showers. One bathroom on the ground floor also has a bath while the first-floor bedroom has a roll-top bath.
Hob, microwave, oven and slow cooker backed up by glasses for beer, champagne, red wine and white wine means that every night could be a dinner party at Pump Meadow. Within the sage coloured cupboards of the kitchen, there is a plethora of kitchen equipment that would keep a MasterChef contestant content.
Though local pubs are temptingly close for an evening off from cooking. A mere 1.5 miles away, walking distance on fine evenings, The Seven Stars’ menu is a notch above the usual pub fare. As the South Downs is an International Dark Sky Reserve, on a cloudless evening, it can be a spectacular walk.
Cricketers and historians love The Bat and Ball, looking down on the sheep nibbled cricket outfield of Hambledon. A five-mile drive away, the pub is a veritable cricket museum of early cricket and 18th and 19th century life.
There are plenty of South Downs walks but the houses of Hinton Ampney and Uppark, where the gardens are being restored to their original 18th century design, bring a historic focus to walks. At Hinton Ampney, a National Trust property, there is an antique tree walk which has limes and chestnuts planted in the 18th century as well as a massive oak surviving from Tudor times.
More history lies 20 miles south at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard which features the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Also, it is only a short drive to Winchester, once England’s capital.
Cottages at Barrow Hill Barns begin with one-bedroom properties, moving up through two and three bedroom cottages. For the ultimate get together of family and friends, it is possible to book The Farmyard: that is all the cottages, providing 16 double rooms sleeping up to 32 people, also with the addition of The Cowshed’s event space.
Barrow Hill Barns fact file
Premier Cottages‘ collection features almost 1000 four and five-star self-catering cottages across the UK. Properties range from small, romantic boltholes to large family-friendly country estates. The collection includes pet-friendly and glamping accommodation. It also offers the widest range of accessible properties in the UK and many properties have onsite facilities like swimming pools, gyms, spas, indoor games rooms and children’s play areas. A week’s stay at Barrow-Hill-Barns | Pump-Meadow (Tel 07847 436562) for six starts from £1045 and a three night break from £737.
If you enjoyed Michael’s review Idyllic dog-friendly break at Barrow Hill Barns on the South Downs, you’ll find more UK breaks and getaways on our Travel channel.Tags: Michael Edwards, South Downs, Travel Last modified: February 21, 2022